June 24, 2013 — Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri on Thursday filed a lawsuit arguing that a Kansas law requiring abortion providers to tell specific information to patients violates the providers' freedom of speech, the Kansas City Star reports. The law is scheduled to take effect on July 1.
The law requires Kansas abortion providers to post a link on their websites to a Kansas Department of Health and Environment site with information about abortion and fetal development. In addition, providers must tell women that fetuses are able to feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy and that an abortion terminates the "life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being" (Morris, Kansas City Star, 6/20).
Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said, "The Legislature is attempting to force us to endorse the political views of the governor and his allies" (AP/USA Today, 6/20). Brownlie added, "For government officials to force individuals and organizations to publicly endorse the state's views violates the fundamental principles on which our country is founded."
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, said states often compel private businesses to provide factual information to consumers. She added, "Women have to be given facts in order to make an informed choice" (Kansas City Star, 6/20).